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Whilst in opposition to the then liberal government, current Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his Social Liberal Union (USL), an alliance of several political parties, vehemently protested against the Rosia Montana mining project, which was supported by President Traian Basescu and his Democratic Liberal Party (PDL). According to Gabriel Resources Ltd., the Canadian company behind the scheme, the plan for the project is to dig up the estimated 800-4,000 tons of gold squirreled away in Rosia Montana using an astonishing amount of 40 tons of cyanide per day.

Credit: Wikimedia
Credit: Wikimedia

Gold cyanidation is a highly controversial practice used to leach gold from extracted material that has been banned in various countries as a result of the fact that even small amounts of cyanide are poisonous for the environment and human health. The enormous daily quantity of cyanide to be used during the Rosia Montana mining project would therefore produce a gruesome and irreversible environmental destruction in area. Exploiting the mine would mean destroying four forested mountains, contaminating multiple rivers, devastating several fragile ecosystems and destroying over 900 buildings. It would also require the damming up of one end of the Corna valley to hold 250 million tons of cyanide-laced waste generated by the gold leaching.

On the 5th of September 2011, in a blog post entitled “Rosia Montana-USL’s position,” the then opposition leader Ponta shared 7 key points why the Coalition was against the Canadian project in its proposed format and called for additional safeguards. These included the needs to make public and transparent the clauses of the agreement signed with RMGC, to respect the right to property and ensure that no one gets expropriated in Rosia Montana, and the need to conduct an independent analysis of the project’s overall costs and benefits for Romania. Ponta explicitly stated in his blog post that Gabriel Resources had “spread erroneous and constantly changing public messages” and that President Basescu had also misinformed the population about the mining project.

Since gaining power, the Prime Minister and USL have radically changed their position.  At the present moment, Prime Minister Ponta and his fellow USL members seem to be even more willing than the previous government to bend the law of Romania, including on many of the issues that they once considered inviolable, in order ensure the project goes ahead.

Dominating in the Parliament and presiding over the government, USL has taken multiple measures to demonstrate its lack of political consistency on the matter. The first sign after the election that the new USL government intended to pursue the Rosia Montana project was its decision to divide up Minvest SA Deva, a state-owned company specializing in mining, extraction, processing, and export of gold-silver and copper, and create a new part, called Minvest Rosia Montana. This new company was established to handle the Rosia Montana project and manage its afferent patrimony – consisting of the company’s package of shares in the mining project and the liabilities resulting from loans it has taken in order to participate in the project.

The Romanian state will be a direct shareholder in the newly-created company, through the Department for infrastructure projects and foreign investment. However, Gabriel Resources would obtain 80 percent of the profits, with the Romanian government getting only 20 percent. Rosia Montana is the largest known gold deposit in Europe and the third largest in the world. Its value is estimated to be around at around $20.8 billion, representing a huge possible endowment for Romania but one the country is likely to see little of. Even if Minvest Rosia Montana starts renegotiating the profit percentage, it is unlikely that the Canadian company, which has to satisfy its stakeholders, will be willing to allow the Romanian government a substantially larger share of the profit.

In addition, according to the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, after the environmental clean-up costs and the repayment of loans taken out by Minvest from Gabriel Resources, the project would generate nowhere near the $4 billion claimed by RMGC, but instead bring “nothing to the region but a long term sentence to poverty.” This conclusion dismantles the myth that the mining project would bring economic benefits, much hailed by both the company and the Romanian government. Simply put, Romania has nothing to gain from this project. The country would effectively just be offering its highly valuable gold resources in exchange for hundreds of thousands of tons of cyanide, which would destroy one of its most beautiful and ecologically diverse regions forever and transform it into a toxic wasteland.

Apart from creating Minvest Rosia Montana, the Romanian government has not released any public information about its intentions at Rosia Montana since the beginning of 2013, maintaining the same level of secrecy as the previous government, which it once so ardently criticized. For instance, the Committee for Technical Analysis, responsible for assessing the environmental impact of the Canadian project, restarted its operations in April 2013 for the first time since November 2011 but the Ministry of the Environment failed to publicly announce this development. The information only became available because Gabriel Resources published the information in a report for its investors. Furthermore, Gabriel Resources recently announced that, on April 22, 2013, it had obtained a new planning certificate for the project, which the Romanian government has also failed to disclose.

Similarly, the Romanian government has apparently demanded additional financial guarantees from the company for the post-exploitation environmental restoration process in order to demonstrate their conformity to existing EU standards, but has not made any information on these demands available to the general public. Even if these unknown guarantees were to be accepted, however, restoration is but a euphemism in this case given the fact that the environmental damage caused to the Rosia Montana region would be irreversible. It would be impossible to restore the four mountains that its operations would destroy, purify the cyanide contaminated-rivers or revive the biodiversity destroyed in the long-term exploitation process. It would appear, therefore, that the demand for additional financial guarantees is more a ploy to convince the Romanian general public of the good intentions of Gabriel Resources – and thus persuade them that it should be allowed to start mining – than a trustworthy pledge for Rosia Montana’s rehabilitation.

There are other, equally concerning, signs of the government’s plans for Rosia Montana. The Romanian Parliament, also dominated by USL, is currently debating the modification of the 2003 Mining Law and considering amendments which would facilitate important erosion of citizens’ rights, particularly by allowing foreign companies to expropriate the lands and houses of Romanian citizens on behalf of the Romanian government. This clause goes against article 44(3) of the Romanian Constitution. This law would also facilitate the approval of other mining projects, including dangerous cyanide-based ones, like the RMGC-led one, by depriving citizens of their right to protest by remaining on their lands.

With the Romanian government seemingly rushing to start the project, the Canadian company is also increasingly impatient to get it going, after waiting for 16 years. So far, Gabriel Resources has spent more than $400 million, but has been constantly thwarted by the mentioned environmental concerns over its use of cyanide. However, it has been encouraged to be patient in its pursuit of the initiative by the fact that successive Romanian governments have indicated that they are happy to accept “its 19th century colonial operations, compared to […] modern gold mines” and are willing to tolerate the concomitant risks of contamination and environmental damage, deemed “alarming” by Victor Bostinaru, a member of the European Parliament.

While both the current and previous Romanian governments do not seem to mind their country being ripped off, the Romanian public has expressed its vehement opposition to the project. The Rosia Montana protest movement has grown to be the largest in Romania since the fall of Communism, taking place at the local, national and international level. During the January-February 2012 protests organized throughout the country, many Romanian protesters demanded that the Rosia Montana project be ceased. Moreover, in December 2012, the wide majority of residents of Alba, where Rosia Montana is situated, made a conscious decision to boycott a local referendum regarding the resumption of mining in the Apuseni Mountains and the gold mining exploitation at Rosia Montana. This implies that they do not want the Rosia Montana project to commence or mining in the Apuseni to be conducted under current circumstances.

The opponents of the Rosia Montana project are leading a historic battle that will play a decisive role in shaping not only the prospects for Romania and the extraction of its natural resources, but of all countries’ relations with international corporations and the future of international mining. In the context of the overwhelming general public and civil society opposition and its 2011 own position on the Rosia Montana project, the current government must desist from its plans for Rosia Montana. Its members should remember that they are only in power as a result of the discontent of the population with the previous government, on issues that included Rosia Montana, and that they can be removed as well, if they fail in their duty to govern according to their mandate.

 

Raluca Besliu is a Masters student in Refugees and Forced Migration Studies at Oxford.

 

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51 Comments

  1. Filip
    May 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm — Reply

    you know what’s interesting? the fact that you say that “cyanide mining is controversial” but you fail to say that the method is used in countries like Finland or Sweden, and since Romania is a part of the EU, there are the same environmental standards for mining in Romania as in the Scandinavian countries. You also fail to talk about the historic pollution left there by the state, which would be cleaned up through the mining project, as a part of their obligation. you also seem to fail to say that the majority of the people from Rosia Montana want the mining project to start and that the opponents of the project are basically fighting against the will of the people there. And this could go on… the point is, why the obvious bias?

    • June 7, 2013 at 10:02 am — Reply

      I would like to reply to the above commentator. Mentioning cyanide mining in Scandanavia isn’t relevant because they use much smaller quantities — in sealed containers. No cyanide lakes up there. The historic pollution on site is also miniscule compared to what your project will create and as for the local people, indeed a majority may support it, but why? They have been promised jobs even though there is no chance that they will get any. This is an excellent article, very well researched, and true. The RMGC project threatens to poison the whole region and once it has started they won’t care a fig for any of the promises made thus far.

      • Chris
        August 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm — Reply

        There is not going to be a cyanide lake in Rosia Montana. I could go through all the errors in the article such as the claim that it is the ” third largest in the world” which it most certainly is not but all the negative and false propaganda being spread by people who obviously have an alternate agenda is too much for me to waste my time on.
        How about you all research the project and industry before spreading these lies about a project that is undoubtedly in the best interest of Romania!

        • Valentin G.
          August 30, 2013 at 8:28 am — Reply

          ” … before spreading these lies about a project that is undoubtedly in the best interest of Romania! ”

          Of course it is! What country wouldn’t like it’s gold to be mined and taken away, while it’s lands are destroyed, rivers poisoned and houses taken away forcefully? Certainly Romania is just a small stupid country that should bow down to the wishes of corporations that are willing to bribe their way into these deals.

          Thank you for opening our eyes to what is in our best interest! I had no idea until now.

          PS. This is a great article, BTW. Too bad comments like these try to chip away at the message.

        • Emma Goldman
          August 30, 2013 at 10:53 am — Reply

          ”There is not going to be a cyanide lake in Rosia Montana”
          WRONG!!! A CYANIDE LAKE is part of the official plans!

          • Chris
            August 31, 2013 at 2:27 pm

            Please show some evidence of this. There is no lake full of cyanide in the plans.

          • ella
            September 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm

            Not a lake, 4 lakes!

        • Lucian
          September 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm — Reply

          Where are you from, Chris?

          • September 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm

            Roșia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC) plans to produce 7.943 million ounces (225 t) of gold and 28.891 million ounces (819 t) of silver over 17 years. The project will cost $638m[9] and involves the creation of four mining pits covering 205ha, the first two at the old mining sites of Cirnic and Cetate, followed by pits at Jig and Orlea in Phase II. Up to 250 million tonnes of tailings will be stored in a 363ha pond in the Corna Valley behind a 185m-high dam.[3]

            What do you call a 363 hectares pond, if not a lake?

            If you don’t know what tailings are, go research that mr.Chris, it’s toxic waste.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ro%C8%99ia_Montan%C4%83

          • Chris
            September 18, 2013 at 7:25 am

            I’m from Canada, and work for a mining company, but that’s not the point.

        • marius
          September 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm — Reply

          Read the last on this page. And the funny one ” The probability that this phenomenon appears within 24 hours is 1 in 100 million” – do I care about the next 24h only??????

          http://en.rmgc.ro/rosia-montana-project/technological-process.html

        • Bog
          September 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm — Reply

          The Romanian Academy states: “The lake where the cyanide and other toxic waste resulting from the exploration are to be placed was found to have permeable walls meaning the toxicity will spread to an extent we cannot yet forsee.” The lake will be there. The project will go on. But hopefully when the technology evolves enough to save the landscape. I don’t see what’s the hurry…no one’s taking the gold from underground. 😀

        • Anna
          September 3, 2013 at 6:54 am — Reply

          Dear Chris and Filip,
          I warmly recommend you to read all or part of the study you can find on RMGC website about the environmental impact of the project. Right now their site is down for whatever reason, but I hope you will find it online soon. If you go through the tens and tens of pages filled with technical data and have the patience to do it, you will find that after the endless paragraphs there are short sentences that say things like the fact that you can’t really draw a proper conclusion about, let’s say the impact on the water from the cyanide, because of insufficient data. This on their own website, dear Chris. I really hope the documentation will still be there when the website will be back online.
          Secondly, besides the environmental, social, cultural issues, the big, big problem that we who, as you say, spread ‘lies about a project that is undoubtedly in the best interest of Romania’ is the way our government would make a special law just for RMGC so they can bypass all other laws. This, my friend, is unacceptable. We are so, so very sick of our corrupt officials, of all the shady deals our government made with private companies, of how when someone powerful has an interest, they can buy their way out by changing laws, of the huge marketing campaign of RMGC that is very professionally done, but to anyone remotely familiar with PR techniques, it stinks so hard of bullshit, we are sick of all of this. We want transparency and respect.
          So, Chris and Filip, you should really learn how to look at the bigger picture. If, of course, you’re willing or capable to do it. Good luck.

      • Eu
        September 13, 2013 at 10:49 pm — Reply

        How can you tell this is a well researched paper? I can not see any proof of “research” in this article. Are there any quotations? Did the author cite any scientific/sociopolitical reliable source….let alone any source at all? How can you make the difference between the sole author’s opinion and the reality/truth/facts? If this were a paper in college it got an F for plagiarism or a C for lacking the minimum number of sources/works cited.
        I DO NOT support the project at Rosia Montana while I also notice that this article does a very poor job in supporting its point and it is not credible due to the lack of supporting information and reliable sources which were not quoted. This is a lesson to learn and remember: if you want to make yourself heard, understood and trusted in academia or in front of educated people, you must convey your thoughts and opinions in articles which must be reliable.

    • misu
      June 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm — Reply

      Dacă știi să scrii in limbi străine de ce ai ajuns postac?

      • Eu
        September 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm — Reply

        Hahaha…chiar nu ai inteles de ce? Pai daca esti roman patriot nu e normal sa vorbesti in engleza? Asa iti arati dragostea fata de tara ta si fata de limba romana, o vorbesti rar ca nu da bine…si “te mai dai si un pic mare” cum ziceam noi cind eram copii. Si mai ales trebuie sa fii roman pina la capat si sa dai tot ce ai mai bun in tine: sa scrii articole care pretind ca ironizeaza ipocrizia altora in timp ce propriul tau articol e ipocrit si nu e demn de incredere pentru ca nu citeaza surse stiintifice pentru ideile pe care se bazeaza articolul. In acest articol nu au fost citate articole/surse demne de incredere din industria mineritului/geologie/mediu/etc. Totul e parere personala, wikipedia (….e rusinos ca cineva din mediul academic sa citeze wikipedia!) sau preluat din mass media. Articolul asta da bine intr-un ziar citit de omul de rind cu studii si educatie minime dar in nici un caz in mediul academic sau daca vrei sa-l adresezi unor oameni inteligenti/educati. Sint neutra referitor la proiectul Rosia Montana, eu doar am analizat calitatea slaba a articolului si a modului in care autorul/autoarea si-a sustinut parerea.

    • Tamy
      August 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm — Reply

      Dear Filip,

      I’ve read your comments to the Evenimentul Zilei articles. Obviously, you are a very passionate supporter of Ponta. Unfortunately, your knowledge is very limited; probably you are going to get something out of the deal.

      [Comment edited by moderated – please keep your comments civil]

    • Ioana
      August 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm — Reply

      I believe that you are wrong. There is no half of the population who wants the mining project to start, it’s only a manipulation via PR.

      [Comment edited by moderated – please keep your comments civil]

    • Narcis
      August 29, 2013 at 7:36 am — Reply

      Ai ajuns postac platit de RMGC

    • Silviu
      August 29, 2013 at 10:41 am — Reply

      You are so wrong.. Have you seen the damages caused by the cyanide mining in Guatemala or in USA state of Montana (where now is forbiden). This type of mining with cyanide, polues the all waters around. After the polusion is made how do you think you can repare the nature??? with all the promises of the big corporation and the politicians I will never trust them because they are looking after their interests but the facts are still there..I yhink you never been to the Apuseni mountins to see there beauty, which is about to be destroyed. I live close to Rosia Montana project and I never agree this !!!
      if you really are interested in these cause not only debate please watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anmmpAhD3Ig&feature=share

    • Ira
      August 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm — Reply

      Filip , i’m sorry to tell you that i have watched interviews and documentaries abaout this subject and with the villagers from Rosia and i can assure you thst i haven’t seen many who want this project to start!!1they just want their houses,lands and their dead left in peace…most of them have been threatened by RMGC to give in there lands ..Plus HOW CAN u possibly say that the RMGc will clean up??? the cianide poisoning will affect the ecosystem of this area and the health of our children for decades to come!!! Covering it up with earth and planting a few trees won”t stop the poisoning!!!Pleas document yourself better before making a statement!!

    • aCID
      August 30, 2013 at 9:04 am — Reply

      What “majority” of the people from Rosia Montana? They were constantly lied, intimidated or forced to relocate by RMGC and/or local authorities. Looks like you are one of those liars: the mining project barely keeps its own pollution out of harm’s way, the cyanide lake is one step away from failing… like it happened in 2000, when cyanide reached Hungary on river streams.

    • roxana
      September 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm — Reply

      ……. like sheep to the slaughter..

    • Lucia
      September 3, 2013 at 6:49 pm — Reply

      Filip, in Finland there is Talvivaara environment catastrophe due to mining using an immense lake to diverse the waste. And what happened with environment standards when heavy rains caused breaches in the pool? Let me tell you because I live in this country, all of the environment standards were thousand of time violated, neighbor lakes water cannot be used even in sauna, this is official and people had to send the water samples to Sweden because in this country too are dirty politics near dirty mining. Inform yourself before talk about Finland.

    • Paul
      September 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm — Reply

      Who are you to point the positive part of starting the mining in Rosia Montana? First of all look what “cyanide mining” means and then look at the country that used that type of mining, that area is now looking like “Cernobil” after the polution, so don’t try pointing the good of “cyanide mining” because there is none, More to this mather and concern like you said is true, about the “historic pollution left there by the state” they did it they should clean it up, not to wait for someone else to clean that up.

      So the “cyanide mining” is wrong for us and that is it. No more or less debate on this matter.

  2. […] Besliu on May 29, 2013 in Democracy and Elections, Environmental Policy, European Politics and […]

  3. Mateiciuc Alin
    August 29, 2013 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    I do not agree with starting this project! I want to live in a natural environment not through RMGC disasters. We want a healthy life in our country do not want diseases and other disasters. These thieves to disappear in our country. STOP MINING Rosia Montana!!

  4. anca
    August 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm — Reply

    Great article, thank you! Many of my friends who do not speak Romanian were curious to know what I share on fb and g+ lately. I needed to explain again and again, so I was thinking about writing something myself. Now I can share the link to your article :-).

    For those who tend to disregard the environmental and cultural aspects and deliver instead an empty economic perspective – creating jobs and bringing money to the budget (empty because their figures are not real and their math is flawed) – I am going to try to give a very simple argument of legality and property right, in such simple terms that it is impossible not to understand.
    Assume you own a home that you love, you might have lived there all your life and your parents and grandparents have lived there as well, or you just moved there few years back. In any case, you own the place, it’s yours and there is where you want to be. Then a company comes to you and says: “We want to dig under your house, we want to flood your fields with poison, here is a little money. Pack all your stuff and get lost. If you don’t leave now, we promise we will take you out by force and you will get nothing. And by the way, we have this right because we will employ and pay several people to destroy your house and all the land that you own. And the village church and the cemetery, they will work particularly hard to flood those under a lake of poison”. You think they are crazy and tell them to go away, you don’t want to move. But then the politicians whom you elected to protect your rights and to defend your interests turn against you and tell you that you must go. That your property rights do not matter, that a random private company is entitled to infringe your constitutional rights, to destroy your dreams and hopes, to take away your past, to rob you of all you have just because they will sponsor the state, they will bring some money to the budget.What kind of democracy is this? What kind of sick system that puts greed above the fundamental rights of their citizens? Are we back in the 50’s? What kind of society would find this acceptable and not feel for those people? This is why the only way to preserve our dignity is to oppose this incredible abuse, to fight against it with all the means we have.
    It doesn’t matter if you care about the environment or not, it doesn’t matter if you think that the ruins from Roman times are just a heap of stones. I do hope you have a home. And if you also have a bit of empathy then you can’t approve this.

  5. Cosmin
    August 30, 2013 at 7:56 am — Reply

    the people do now want your project. the romanians do not want to sell their gold for pocket change. the romanians do not want these foreigners to take their properties and destroy them. the romanias do not want their natural beauties and history to be turned to rubble and poison.

    there will maybe be some hundreds jobs for several years. the destruction… that will last for mileanias!

    just go away! take the corrupt politicians and state representatives, that sold their soul for a hand full of gold, with you! go unless you want trouble! GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!!!

  6. yoo
    August 30, 2013 at 8:18 am — Reply

    Great article. Thank you for writing it. Everyone needs to know about this!

  7. Gabi
    August 30, 2013 at 9:28 am — Reply

    Romania only gets 6%!!!

    • tzuicomicina
      August 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm — Reply

      You’re way off. Romania gets 6% in cash, and 94% in damages, pollution, cancer, and the list can go on.

  8. aCID
    August 30, 2013 at 9:34 am — Reply
  9. Emil Mocan
    August 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm — Reply

    It seems that the blade got to the bone.
    For a while it seemed the Romanian people ignored other crimes which are bound to its destruction: the forced privatization, the selling of the remaining of the industry, the selling (at what price?) of the natural resources, oil and gas, the lynching of the economy, the grim dark perspective of the young. It seemed the people acted with little regard to its future, as a sort of martyr which lets all the thieves and criminals to rape its wife. But that is not a martyr as it is a fool.
    Why, I may ask, the peoples are reacting only when their biological future is threatened?
    Why they did not see the great opportunity they had in ’89-’90?

    It forever puzzles me the levels of naivety to believe in a system which proposes you to trust a man and give him your obeisance for 4 years, no less.
    Then, if that man fools you, you may pick another one to decide for you. And another one. And… ups! There are no others, the first is at the turn. And what do you do? You don’t care anymore…

  10. September 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    All of the commenters seem to forget that cyanide is a highly toxic poison to humans.
    A tiny amount can kill!
    Any minute infection can cause blood poisoning or septicaemia.
    That can cause sweating and blood clotting inside the body. Also, fever, chills, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, nausea and vomiting.
    Then it can produce skin disorders, infections, abcesses, tumours, dysfunction of major body organs eventually leading to death.
    Just look at what happened in Baia Mare in 2000….
    That disaster was small, but killed animals, flora and fauna. Permanently for centuries until nature kicks out the poison!
    It also killed many people!

    • Eu
      September 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm — Reply

      The discussion has been serious so far but it’s time to take a break and have some fun. We can do so thanks to Peter Fay who said the following:
      🙂 Infection by cyanide 🙂
      🙂 Blood clotting inside the body 🙂 (so we assume that “clotting outside the body is safe..hahaha)
      🙂 that disaster was small 🙂 (….you made my day with this one)
      🙂 that disaster was small, but killed animals, flora and fauna 🙂 (this one tops them all…hahaha…. it practically killed everything but Peter Fay calls it “small”)

      • October 25, 2013 at 10:44 am — Reply

        Eu.
        THAT is not a name. [edited for abusive language]
        At least I have the spine to let people know who I am.
        You just hide behind a pseudonym, [edited for abusive language]
        You clearly cannot [edited] understand the possible seriousness if the Rosia Montana Greed Corporation gets their way.
        YOUR carefree attitude is an insult to Romanian people!
        Everything I said could easily be accepted.
        You clearly do not know what cyanide is… try looking it up on a search engine.
        Blood clotting inside the body can cause infections, it can also stop the heart beating.
        YES, the Baia Mare disaster was small, when you compare it to what is likely to happen at Rosia Montana.
        It was also rated small by the UN in comparison to Chernobyl.
        ….
        I really feel sorry for [edited] people like you.
        Try opening your mind….
        You might be surprised at what you CAN do!

  11. Lucian
    September 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm — Reply

    People are right now on the streets…and they are there for a good reason/cause. A small post-communist country with a lot of corrupted politicians (here including the prime minister Ponta) looks like an easy target…but we’re there to fight for our rights!

  12. snakemick
    September 2, 2013 at 9:53 am — Reply

    @aCID: Is that http://www.docstoc.com/docs/45033150/Extraction-And-Recovery-Of-Gold—Patent-5260040 or is another (similar) patented method? Anyway, it’s better than cyanide.

    RMGC used tactics and employed people that are at least objectionable, but the true responsibility lies in the political and governmental zone. Those are the real culprits that impoverished the Romanian people transforming them in “bottom dwellers” focused on mere survival.

    Cyanide mining in Rosia Montana should not be allowed at least for the simple reason that there were too may lies about this project… and no real disclosures.

    • Ioana
      September 5, 2013 at 11:05 am — Reply

      Cyanide mining should not be allowed anywhere! We are humans and, therefore prone to make mistakes. My personal opinion is that, as long as you cannot truly control a harmful technology, one should not use it if there is a big chance it will affect many.
      I do not know to what extent this Rosia Montana “business” has infiltrated the entire Romanian government, but I still hope some of the people there will see the reality of this so called profitable project. I am putting aside the facts regarding the benefits or problems this exploitation would bring in Romania and ask only this: if there is manpower in this country (for example the miners that use to work in Valea Jiului), if there are other means of extracting the minerals without the possibility of creating long term damage in that area and, possible, to a more extended zone, why can’t we just keep this project for ourselves? We don’t actually need a foreign company to come and extract the gold and silver (and other minerals) for us. Everyone knows we could do it by ourselves. One would argue there is no money for a country like Romania to invest in such a project. Well… let’s see: we could actually do without changing the pavement from six to six months; we could do without useless but costly tourism projects; and many of the businessmen in this country could do without expensive cars, boats, planes and so on, and invest a bit in this country.
      And in any case, even if we couldn’t do without the above, there is still another option. Let’s remember that all the natural wealth of this country (be it gold, silver, salt, wood etc) has been long exploited by its people. So, we have the know-how, even if it would take longer and we’d use pickaxes instead of dynamite and chemicals. Unfortunately, the history repeats: the Romans came in Dacia for its gold. We can see this happening today – haven’t we learned anything?
      Lucky for our ancestors, they were smarter – they managed to harness what nature and land offered them before they were conquered.
      Maybe we should go back to that era, maybe it would be better if we rode a donkey and not allow to be rode by many.

      • Eu
        September 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm — Reply

        Intereseaza-te sa vezi cit costa proiectul, in ce consta procedeul de extragere si mai ales de ce suma enorma e nevoie inainte de a se incepe lucrarea. Pe linga asta, evalueaza situatia Romaniei din prezent si ai sa vezi ca este practic imposibil in momentul de fata ca Romania sa aiba banii necesari demararii acestei investitii.
        Aurul de la Rosia Montana se extrage de pe vremea dacilor si romanilor (d-aia exista “Galeriile Romane”), iar pe vremea aceea nu se foloseau cianuri, cred ca e clar din ce cauza 🙂 Extrageau si ei cum puteau, ca nu aveau metoda chimica/industriala. Zona a fost exploata si pe vremea lui Ceausescu, de data asta cu cianuri, pentru ca alta metoda nu exista. S-au incercat si se tot incearca si alte metode de extragere dar pina in prezent nimic nu poate inlocui cu succes cianurarea. Cei care sustin ca exista si alte metode de extragere habar nu au ce vorbesc si sint neinformati. Revenind la Rosia Montana, zona este deja foarte poluata iar cei care vor sa investeasca acum (canadienii) nu au contribuit cu nimic la aceasta poluare. In zona sint doua lacuri deja poluate iar apele din jur sint si ele poluate (pe o raza de 45 de km indicatorii arata o poluare de 100 de ori mai mare decit ar fi normal). Aceste doua lacuri trebuie purificate. Prin contract, canadienii ar trebui sa purifice aceste lacuri inainte de a se apuca de proiect, dar in cazul in care nu se mai apuca de treaba Romania le lasa asa? Asta nimeni nu vede? Nimeni nu iese in strada pentru problema asta? De ce nu a iesit nimeni in strada de 20 de ani sa ceara purificarea acelor doua lacuri pline de cianuri? Sa vedem acum cit costa: petru Geleriile Romane e nevoie de 150 milioane de euro iar pentru lacuri si apele din jur tot cam 100 de milioane de Euro. De unde banii astia doar pentru ecologizarea zonei? (din taxe si impozite e imposibil sa se adune suma asta). Apoi, s-a estimat ca o companie miniera romaneasca ar trebui sa investeasca 1.9 miliarde de dolari pentru extragerea aurului. In momemntul de fata Romania nu are banii astia, si nici nu o sa-i aiba prea curind. Singura varianta e sa se pastreze zona ne-exploatata momentan ci lasata pentru generatia viitoare, sperind ca in viitor sa se descopere si alte metode de extragere a aurului care sa implice cianuri.

  13. […] 1. Universisity of Cambridge […]

  14. Malin
    September 6, 2013 at 8:31 am — Reply

    Raluca, ai tot repectul meu. Si pentru postacii pro-RMGC: SIE, securisti din MAE, slugi remegeciste, toti sunteti niste tradatori de tara, iar lucrul asta va iesi la iveala. Nu uitati ca va apropiati de un Goldgate, Watergate-ul romanesc. Se vede ca din sangele lui Ceasca si din creierii Lenutei pe care i-ati imprastiat tot voi la Targoviste acum 23 de ani nu ati invatat mai nimic.

  15. MisTahn
    September 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm — Reply

    I feel this is important… I am from Smiths Lake, Australia. Your message has reached me. I would like to have more information on what the issue is. If you could give me credible resources to address the problem, I would like to help in any way. (I apologise that I am not experiencing your situation and I will try to relate as best as possible). Evaluation and non-prejudice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for taking time to read this,

    Tahnee

  16. […] the project would generate nowhere near the $4 billion claimed by RMGC, but instead bring, and I quote, ”nothing to the region but a long term sentence to poverty.” Around the same time, […]

  17. […] happening in Romania right now, this is the time to learn and take a stand! More about it here, here, here and here. Please sign the petition against it, […]

  18. […]  ‘The Hypocrisy of the Romanian Government: Why the Rosia Montana project must be stopped’ by Ral… […]

  19. […] Political Forum, AlJazeera, Reuters, GlobalPost(1), GlobalPost(2), RT, and numerous blogers like R Besliu, Sam R, Kulmun.be, and many, many, […]

  20. […] a higher number of jobs than it will actually create and by promising an unrealistic post-exploitation environmental restoration process, while multiple high-level Romanian politicians have expressed […]

  21. […] About Roșia Montană : politicsinspires.org […]

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